Arguments For and Against the Sacrifice Bunt

Prologue to Deeper Thought in Shallow Waters

~ Or to Shallow Thought in Deeper Waters,

Dependent Upon the Egotistical Inclinations

Of Each Individual Thinker,

Regarding the Risk/Reward Value

Of the Sacrifice Bunt as a Game Strategy:

Rays DO it! – Cubs DO it!

Sometimes Even Astros Like Jose – DO it!

Should we DO it? – Should we use the Sac Bunt?

Arguments For and Against the Sacrifice Bunt.

What else among the large factors are we missing, if anything really big?

With a Runner on 1st and Nobody Out

For Bunting

  1. You greatly reduce the chances for a batted double play ball;
  2. You probably will move a runner into scoring position at 2nd base;
  3. You now have a two-outs-left chance to bring the runner home from scoring position; and,
  4. If either of the next two guys hits safely, you may be setting up a big scoring inning.

Against Bunting

  1. You are giving up the chance for 2 base runners or an extra base RBI with no outs;
  2. If your best or hottest hitter is next up, you simply don’t give him up to a bunt attempt;
  3. If the bunt works, the pitcher will be facing two of your worst hitters with only 2 outs left open.

With Runners on 1st and 2nd and Nobody Out

For Bunting

  1. To add momentum to scoring pressure with 2 runners now in scoring position and only 1 out;
  2. To avoid the DP that would kill the momentum for a multiple-run scoring opportunity;
  3. If successful, it will force the other manager to think more now about whose pitching and defense; and,
  4. Runners on 2nd and 3rd and only 1 out bring out the “rabbit-ear” thoughts in many pitchers.

Against Bunting

  1. Barry Bonds, Hank Aaron, or Babe Ruth is at the plate;
  2. Bunting won’t help you make your “Big Bad Wolf” statement against a particular team;
  3. Sometimes a manager doesn’t use the sacrifice bunt for a long time just to create the impression that he doesn’t really understand that aspect of offensive baseball strategy. Then he uses it in the bottom of the 9th to help win the 7th Game in a future World Series.


Bill McCurdy

Publisher, Editor, Writer

The Pecan Park Eagle


3 Responses to “Arguments For and Against the Sacrifice Bunt”

  1. Wayne A Chandler Says:

    Bill, when my friends complain about the Astros’ few efforts at bunting, I tell them that this year, every batter is likely to get a base hit. I’m worried that many of the batters aren’t used to, or can’t bunt. When Altuve or Reddick or Aoki hit into double plays, I feel that the opposing fielders have earned it because our guys are fast runners.

  2. Emmett McAuliffe Says:

    Do not forget the argument from fan enjoyment. If I am casually watching a baseball game and doing something else, I stop what I am doing to pay attention in a bond situation to see if the batter can get the bunt down.

    A normal at-bat when you think about it is boring 70% of the time. A pop up here ground out there. But a bunt play is always exciting (If not as exciting as a home run, but that only happens every 50 at-bats or so).

  3. James Williamson Says:

    I am sorry; I have watched the Astros hit in to double plays more than ever this year. As well as they are doing, the manager should use sacrifice bunts to get men in scoring position, at least when they are behind by a couple of runs. I think they could have had at least two more wins.

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